Ben Kaiser, Owner and Principal

Ben is committed to mass timber construction and believes it is the future of sustainable development. He is an advocate for its efficient construction, environmentally responsible development, safety, and seismic resilience. His most recent project, Carbon12, is the tallest CLT building in the United States.

To bring Carbon12 to life, Ben successfully worked with state officials to waive the restrictive codes that limit the height of wood buildings. This singular accomplishment has made mid- to high-rise CLT buildings possible for the first time in this country. By building with mass timber, Ben hopes to help reinvigorate the Pacific Northwest’s timber economy and continue Portland’s reputation as a leader in American urban revitalization.

Ben brings a unique perspective to urban development, informed by over 20 years of serving as the owner, developer, architect, and general contractor on his projects. He was involved in the early stages of Portland’s Pearl District and has spearheaded redevelopment in NE Portland, including the Historic Mississippi District and the Williams/Vancouver corridor. Ben is a former member of the Portland Design Commission, and he earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Steve Lanning, Chief Financial Officer

As CFO at Kaiser Group, Steve oversees all of the accounting and financial matters for the company, including financial statements, forecasting/modeling, and tax compliance. He obtained his CPA credential at a public accounting firm that served large architecture and construction companies, and he enjoys working in an industry that creates tangible results. His passion for design and sustainability drew him to work with Kaiser Group. He holds a BA from American University in Literature, and a post-baccalaureate accounting certificate from Portland State University.

Celeste Whorton, Office Manager

Celeste does accounting for Kaiser Group, analyzing job costs and other crucial financial details. She first worked with Ben Kaiser at Port West Properties more than 20 years ago, and they got along so well that Ben decided if he ever opened his own business, Celeste would be a part of his team. In 2005, she officially joined Kaiser Group and PATH Architecture to help Ben manage the office and accounting for both companies. Previously, Celeste worked for a property development and construction company, a home remodel company, and for several contractors in Oregon and California.

Jennifer Dillan, Development Associate

As Development Associate at Kaiser Group, Jennifer brings expertise in navigating complicated projects, tight budgets, external partners, and multiple stakeholders. She is an astute communicator and enthusiastic leader with a passion for development projects that are deeply creative, sustainable, and that have enduring social value. At Kaiser Group, she wears many hats; she identifies and assists in business development opportunities, leads marketing and communications efforts, and provides project management support. In her previous role as Creative Director at Mercy Corps, Jennifer led a diverse team to drive marketing and fundraising operations for the $437 million global humanitarian organization. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Oregon, studied at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and holds business certifications from Cornell and Yale Universities. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Real Estate Development at Portland State University.

Scott Noble, Sr. Project Manager

Scott has successfully managed more than 1.5 million square feet of renovation and new construction. He has staked his reputation on tenaciously seeing projects through the complicated and challenging construction process. Scott has deep experience with mass-timber and CLT projects, including the Radiator Building, home to Kaiser Group and PATH Architecture’s headquarters, and the recently completed CLT mixed-use project, Carbon12. His project experience spans residential, multifamily, hospitality, high-rise, mixed use, educational, industrial, new construction, renovation, and seismic upgrades. Scott holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management from California Polytechnic State University.

Taylor Cabot, Project Manager

Taylor manages a variety of construction projects for Kaiser Group. She was integral to the construction of Carbon12, working with manufacturers, suppliers, and engineers to understand piece-by-piece how the building would be created, shipped, and constructed. Taylor spoke about lessons learned from the construction of Carbon12 at the International Mass Timber Conference in 2017. Previously, Taylor worked as an owner’s rep and managed projects in healthcare, hospitality, commercial office, and both large-and small-scale residential and retail. She earned a Bachelors in Architecture from Syracuse University, but she quickly found that she enjoyed being on the job site more than in the office, and thrives in a construction environment. Taylor was drawn to Kaiser Group based on her passion for building innovative, green, and community-focused projects.